May 2, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; A bat and a baseball and a batting glove on the turf field during batting practice before the Toronto Blue Jays game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. The Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Garin Cecchini and an Increasingly Interesting Future Infield


One of the most enviable things in Major League Baseball is depth. Especially depth that is young, talented,  and cost-controlled for years and years, quality depth is something that often separates the good teams from the great ones.

The Red Sox have just that on the left side of their infield, both at the major and minor league level. Will Middlebrooks, Jose Iglesias, and Stephen Drew have combined to be a fairly productive group thus far into the season, with all three showing the potential for continued and future success. In the minors, shortstop/third baseman Xander Bogaerts is one of the premier offensive prospects in the game and Devin Marrero, also a shortstop, was the Sox’s first round selection in last year’s draft. However, there is a name that is only now being mentioned with the previous class of minor league infielders due to his surprising performance this season. And his name is Garin Cecchini.

Cecchini, a fourth round pick by the Sox in 2010, has exploded as an elite prospect this year with his production at High-A Salem. Hitting .354/.469/.552, Cecchini has shot up prospect rankings including a 23rd place spot (ESPN Insider required) among noted scout Keith Law’s top 25 prospect list.  Additionally, with the reputation of being a solid defender at the hot corner, it is unlikely that Cecchini will have to move off of the position. Therefore, Cecchini’s name only further adds to the foreseeable logjam of third basemen for the Sox.

Clearly, Cecchini’s emergence has made future projections of the Red Sox infield into a giant mess. With basically five guys (Drew should be gone by this time) fighting for two spots, pressure is sure to mount on each player for playing time. With that said, I’ve always been a believer that pressure brings out the best in players and hopefully, things will work themselves out over time. Perhaps even, one of these players could be the major piece in a pivotal deadline deal, securing both a present upgrade and alleviation from a future headache. But for now, appreciate the problem that the Red Sox are currently saddled with. It’s a luxury most teams don’t have.

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  • Willy W

    Would like to see more added onto this article. Where did Cecchini come from? How does he project? Is he a”Lock” for 3rd base or better off somewhere else? Article is too short & could be filled with some of what I mentioned above. Thanks.

    • John Fahrer

      He was drafted in the fourth round out of Barbe High School in Louisiana. He was projected to go earlier but he suffered an ACL injury during his senior season.

      His ceiling is that of an all-star caliber third baseman. Looks to be a more polished hitter than Middlebrooks since he has better plate discipline and hits for a better average. His home run numbers are improving and should continue to improve. Great speed for a corner infielder. Should hit a lot of doubles and triples and should be an above average base stealer.

      Cecchini likely stays at 3B.

      • Willy W

        Thanks John, good to hear from you, that’s the kinda info I’m looking for, thanks.

        • John Fahrer

          Going by the title, the main emphasis seems to be more about pointing out a potential logjam in the near future.

          Aidan did point out that Cecchini was a fourth round pickin 2010. But I must point out that his good play this season wasn’t completely unexpected. He was ranked in the soxprospects.com Top 10 going into the season and he’s shown an excellent offensive approach at every level so far.

          Since the club didn’t do much for the 1B front by way of the draft these past two seasons, it wouldn’t surprise if they intend to shift Middlebrooks over to the other side of the diamond. He’s not a terrible defensive 3B, but he’s no Brooks Robinson either. 3B will either be manned by Bogaerts or Cecchini. Or maybe Bogaerts at 3B until Cecchini’s ready then the former shifts to the OF.

          • Willy W

            Agreed & thanks again. I have often talked about WMB moving to 1st & Bogey taking over 3rd, though I’m uncertain wether WMB can even be a Major leaguer the way he’s been hitting or I should say Not hitting. We did draft 1 1st basemen this year & he’s a Big boy.
            I am aware of some of the info on GC, I was just looking for the writer to supply more.

          • Aidan Flynn

            Fair enough Willy, thanks for the comments. Things will surely figure themselves out over time, but I just wanted to point out how the situation currently looks. Thanks

          • John Fahrer

            There’s a good chance they switch Jon Denney (catcher they drafted in Rd 3) over to first too.

          • Willy W

            I hope not. He was my favorite pick of all their draft picks, really like this kid. I dont see why he couldnt stay at Catcher. I see a bright future for him.

          • John Fahrer

            Depends equal parts on who’s better defensively and who has the more promising bat between him and Swihart.

          • Aidan Flynn

            Thanks John for stepping up there and helping Willy, I appreciate it. He was always considered a prospect, it’s just that THIS level of production wasn’t expected. Before he was considered more of a solid prospect, whereas now, he is a legitimate premier minor league talent. There’s still plenty of time to figure things out, so I’m not saying it’s impending they have to do something. I just wanted to point out that’s there’s a lot of talent right now with only so many spots to fill. Thanks

          • John Fahrer

            You’re welcome. Have a feeling Cecchini will be at the upper levels very soon. Also think Anthony Ranaudo will be in AAA soon as well. Both are Rule 5-eligible after the season and it’s encouraging to see both current top 10 guys moving up the ladder in a crucial season to do so.

          • Aidan Flynn

            Yeah I agree. Cecchini will probably be in AA shortly and Ranaudo’s progress has been really nice to see. I also couldn’t agree more that the timing of these seasons has been sensational and hopefully both of these guys can continue to take the necessary strides.

    • John Fahrer

      His younger brother, Gavin, was a first-round pick by the Mets last season.